Wood Seesaw or Teeter Totter

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 06/05/2019 - 10:37
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Make a teeter totter or seesaw for less than $20! You'll just need some 2x framing lumber, a bolt and screws, and our free, easy step by step seesaw plans. 

This project has been built hundreds (if not thousands) of times and beloved by children everywhere.  Build and use at your own risk. 

wood teeter totter or seesaw woodworking plans

Reader submitted photo by  KIMMOPT



teeter totter or seesaw dimensions
Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

2 – 2x4 @ 8 feet long

2 – 2x6 @ 8 feet long

1 – 10” 5/8” bolt with nut and four washers

1 – 1x8 @ 3 feet long

1 – 24” 1” dowel or closet rod

Common Materials
3 inch screws
Cut List

2 – 2x4 @ 96”

2 – 2x6 @ 24” (uprights)

2 – 2x6 @ 36” (long base)

2 – 2x6 @ 24” (short base - both ends cut at 30 degrees off square ends NOT parallel to each other)

2 – 2x6 @ 12” (scrap piece can be shorter than 12” – used for handle)

FROM EACH 2x6 cut one each of the 24”, 36”, 24” and 12” to conserve boards

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Attach long base supports to uprights with lots of screws and glue.

Step 2

Then add the side supports again with lots of screws and glue.

Step 3

Build the seat part by sandwiching the handle supports between 8 foot long 2x4s and attaching with glue and lots of screws. Drill a 5/8" hole in center of 2x4s for the pivot bolt.

Step 4

I used scrap 1x8 boards for the seats, covered in a foam chair pad cut in half and outdoor fabric. I drilled three holes in the uprights with 5/8" bit so the seesaw could be adjustable. The most difficult part of this seesaw was getting the bolt holes lined up. We ended up just making the bolt holes a little larger so the bolts could pass through easier. On the bolt, we put washers on each side of the uprights to protect the finish and for a smoother ride. For the handles, we had extra closet rod dowel, so we just cut to size, and drilled a hole and inserted the rod. We then glued and screwed in place.


Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Aisha_ (not verified)

Fri, 05/04/2012 - 12:08

Thank you! Thank you Ana!! Can't wait to make this for the kids! What type of finish did you use on yours? Should I get cedar if I don't want to stain it that way it will weather nicely outside.

Ana White

Fri, 05/04/2012 - 17:13

Hi everyone! We used regular stud grade lumber for this project. I did not want to use treated because the kids will be touching it. We did not have time to paint, but recommend to the parents to paint and keep up with the paint job. Just like a wood house, as long as the finish is properly applied and maintained, the wood will last through your child's childhood and beyond.

Thank you everyone for your nice comments - I hope you build this project! So fun to see the kids enjoying it!

Alvin Schrock (not verified)

Fri, 05/04/2012 - 19:26

I love the insight from everyone on something as fun as this. I look forward to building it for my kids.

Thanks, Alvin


Sat, 05/05/2012 - 04:13

My daughter saw this and demanded to have one. Okay princess, mommy will get right on it. :)

Leslie in RI (not verified)

Sat, 05/05/2012 - 11:36

Ana, I love this seesaw and was wondering: Have you ever thought of building one for adults? I was watching some crazy HGTV show last night and there was an adult sized seesaw and it was so awesome, so now I want one.

Pretty please?

titewad65no (not verified)

Mon, 05/07/2012 - 08:14

All, I was looking for a plan and found this and it's GREAT. I used 2x6's for everything. I also put an extra 2x6x2 where the bolt goes inbetween the two long 2x6's. Last night i was on one end and a 5, 10 and 10 year old was on the other end. NO problems with stressing it. I'd feel fine with an adult on each end. using 2x6's instead of 2x4's makes it a bit heavy for moving, but is a solid smooth ride. If I were to redo it, i'd make the upright support posts higher (up-to-3 feet) with holes drilled up and down to adjust. That way you'd have 5 year old heights as well as 10 and adult! :) I also added 3" lag bolts in the support area's along with the 3" screws. Hit me up via email if you have more questions on what i did, but it's a great plan and THANK YOU very much. Neighbors have already commited on how good it looks

brad deegan (not verified)

Thu, 12/13/2012 - 00:20

just wondering how high you would make it were you to make it again? I am getting set to build this for my daughter and would love to play on it with her. Also thanks for the tip of using heavier wood to be stronger.